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  • You have made it to Perus most famous destination and a main symbol of the Incas; the ancient

  • city of Machu Picchu. The city is located high up in the mountains, 2450 meters above

  • sea level, between the two mountain peaks "Huayana Picchu" and "Machu Picchu". The former

  • means "Young Mountain" and the later, which has given the city its name, means "Ancient

  • Mountain". The remarkable ruins of the city were rediscovered in 1911 by the American

  • archeologist and professor, Hiram Bingham. Even though it's debated whether or not he

  • was the first foreigner to visit Machu Picchu, Bingham was the one who brought Machu Picchu

  • to the outside world. Today Machu Picchu is visited by hundreds of thousands of people

  • each year. The remains of this ancient city is considered one of the worlds true wonders,

  • as it has been voted into the official "The seven wonders of the world"-list.

  • "The lost city of the Incas", as it is often called, is not as old as many people think.

  • The city was constructed by the Incas around 1430AD but to what purpose is unknown. Some

  • believe the city was constructed simply as a recreation place for the Inca emperor Pachacuti

  • and other important Incas. Another theory is that it was used as a retreat, hence the

  • hidden location high up in the mountains. Others say it was used as a temple to the

  • gods and as a hub between other sacred Inca sites.

  • Machu Picchu is made up of two main areas; the agricultural area and the urban area.

  • The agricultural area is made up of the terraces that are so typical for Machu Picchu. These

  • terraces were used to grow the crops needed to feed the inhabitants of the city. There

  • was more than enough space to grow crops to feed the maximum number of inhabitants in

  • the city. Even though it might seem unpractical to grow crops high up in the mountains, it

  • was actually not that hard. One thing that made this possible was that the crops did

  • not need any irrigation, due to the constant rains and ever-present humidity. Another purpose

  • of the terraces was also to help reduce the risk of erosion caused by the rain.

  • The urban part of the city is made up of temples, palaces, storehouses, workshops, stairways

  • and living quarters. The architectural design was based on the capital of the Inca Empire,

  • Cusco. The constructions through out the city follow the natural curves of the land, which

  • makes the city and its surrounding blend so magically well together. The Incas architectural

  • skills, and their masonry in particular, is something truly amazing. On all but the least

  • important buildings, the Incas did not use any mortar when constructing the houses and

  • temples. This allowed to stones to move slightly which made it more resistant to earthquakes.

  • However, this also required much more skill from the masons, as the stones need to be

  • shaped to fit each other more precisely. Some junctions in the central city are so perfect

  • that not even a straw of grass fits between the stones.

  • Regardless of its main purpose, it is known that Machu Picchu served as a shrine to the

  • gods and as a place of worship to the mountains surrounding it. Through the urban part of

  • the city, "replica stones" can be found. These stones have been shaped to match the mountains

  • behind them, which show the Incas devotion to the mountains and the mountain god "Apo".

  • Another key place in Machu Picchu, located on one of the northeast hills, is the Intiwatana

  • stone. In the native language, Quechua, "inti" means "sun" and "wata" "year". This describes

  • one of the specific functions of this stone. Researchers believe the Incas used it as an

  • astronomic clock or a calendar, by looking at the movement of the shadow cast by the

  • stone during sunlight. The stone was also believed to serve as an altar and shrine to

  • the gods. To many researchers surprise, Machu Picchu

  • seems to have been abandoned by the Incas only 100 years after its construction. There

  • is clear evidence that the Spanish never found Machu Picchu, which indicates that the city

  • was abandoned before the Spanish conquer of the Inca Empire. Why they abandoned the city

  • is still very much unknown. Theories suggest that diseases such as small pox killed much

  • of its population, which made the city too hard and expensive to maintain. Other suggests

  • that they abandoned the city in order to please the gods, after the death of the Inca leader

  • Pachacuti. As the Incas did not write anything down for

  • the afterworld the read, much is still unknown about the Inca Empire in general and Machu

  • Picchu in particular. What the true purpose of the city was, how they lived and why it

  • eventually was abandoned will forever, just like Machu Picchu itself, be covered in clouds

  • of mystery.

You have made it to Perus most famous destination and a main symbol of the Incas; the ancient

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◄ Machu Picchu, Peru [HD] ►

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    大菲鴨阿 posted on 2015/01/23
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